On October 15, 2012, the United States Jamaican Diaspora donated and delivered to Jamaica much needed sphygmomanometers (blood pressure measuring devices) to help fight the island’s hypertension epidemic. The fundraising efforts for the sphygmomanometers was spear-headed by Dr. Cheryl Holder, a member of the Southern United States Jamaican Diaspora and it’s representative on the Jamaican Diaspora Health Sector Committee, in cooperation with the National Medical Association’s local society James Wilson Bridges, M.D. Medical Society.
The Sphygmomanometers were sourced by HB Enterprises, a Jamaican owned global procurement and distribution company. The US Jamaican Diaspora raised funds to purchase and supply 36 devices to be shared amongst several hospitals through-out Jamaica. According to Dr. Susan Lycett Davis, Jamaican Diaspora Advisory Board Member – Southern USA and Dr. Cheryl Holder, “since the Southern US Region was responsible for fund raising for Portland and St. Mary, special instructions were given to Jamaica’s Ministry of Health to ensure that Sphygmomanometers were delivered to hospitals in both parishes.”
In October 2011, The Jamaican Diaspora Health Care Sector and Friends of Jamaica, in association with the Ministry of Health, conducted a health care Fact Finding Mission. The team identified critical areas of health care needs within Jamaica and believes this collaborative network amongst all entities can play a vital role to address issues such as hypertension and related heart diseases. The Jamaican Diaspora and Friends of Jamaica agreed to equip healthcare facilities across the island with 1000 blood pressure machines by February 2013. In this regard, the Jamaican Diaspora is actively continuing its fund raising initiative to donate the remaining sphygmomanometers next year in time for the planned Advancement in Medicine and Health Care 2013 Conference from February 25 to March 2, in Jamaica.
According to Dr. Cheryl Holder, “we thank Mr. Hugh B. Bailey, CEO & President of HB Enterprises for his patience and diligence in working with the Health Care Sector. We are also grateful to HB Enterprises and Sea Board Marine for providing complimentary shipping from Miami to Kingston. We also thank Ms. Ava Timberlake – Director, International Cooperation in Health at the Ministry of Health for her coordination of efforts in Jamaica. Lastly, we thank all fund contributors who made it possible to donate the life saving blood pressure measuring devices to the people of Jamaica.”
If you wish to make a contribution to the Jamaican Diaspora Health Care Sector’s Blood Pressure Measuring Device Fund Raising Initiative, please contact Dr. Cheryl Holder at [email protected] or donate at www.jwbms.org.